July 03, 2019 at 11:17am | Michael Hunter
      The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum has a decades-long history, yet at the same time, the Museum is starting afresh. It is no longer an official U.S. Navy museum following federal budget restructuring. The Museum is now a private, non-profit (501C(3)) organization working in conjunction with St Mary’s County. With the recently completed construction of a multi-million dollar capital project that transformed the Museum, it is now displaying the potential to become a premier cultural institution and economic driver for the County.

     Enjoying a supportive community that recognizes the Museum as the link between the U.S. Navy’s missions at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River (Pax River) and the community defined by that mission, it sits in an enviable location with an inspiring story perfectly suited to the technological preoccupations of our era.

When compared to other aviation-focused museums, PRNAM is unique in terms of its collections and mission. Whereas most aviation museums focus on operational aircraft and exhibits, PRNAM focuses on the research, development, test and evaluation environment. Ideas and concepts that were developed and introduced to the Fleet form the basis of its interpretive program. PRNAM also displays concepts that never made it to the Fleet that makes the Museum’s collection all the more unique. Artifacts and simulators, films and books spanning the history of Naval Aviation topped off with a display of 22 one-of-a-kind aircraft that you can walk right up to make the Museum dynamic and memorable.

Currently, two simulators are operating at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. They offer the museum customer an opportunity to experience flight in real F-14 cockpits as you take control of the airplane that you select. You see, once in the cockpit you can choose between any one of several types of airplanes; such as an F-14 Tomcat, an F/A-18 Hornet, an A-10 Warthog, a P-51 Mustang, or how about a larger airplane like a C-130 Hercules, plus many more. The flight simulators utilize stationary cockpits, but the aircraft can fly in the same airspace so if you come with a buddy, you both can fly at the same time or even go against each other as you both make arcs and loops in the sky. Do you want to launch and land on an aircraft carrier? You can do that too. These simulators are extremely popular among children and adults of all ages. The simulators are operating on Saturdays from 10 to 5 PM. The fees to fly the simulators is $10 for 30 minutes.



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